Sunday, April 6, 2008

I See… the Shrine to my Son

In the upper reaches of our home is a sacred holy shrine dedicated to honoring our son on a mission in North Carolina- his empty room. We have adopted careful measures to preserve its historical authenticity by meticulously maintaining the montage of NBA hero and Strength-of-the-Youth-Pamphlet approved rock band and movie icon poster wallpaper, and insuring that the random mixture of old video gaming systems and cartridges remains random. Sometimes I dare to venture directly into the shrine and mess up the bed and throw clothes on the floor, just to render the living display more authentic.

I see two problems with this current arrangement. First, shrines of this nature are usually reserved for honored individuals who have passed on to immortality- ask his missionary companions, and they’ll tell you that Brian is definitely not dead. Wouldn’t his empty room be a more fitting memorial to his greatness if it was redecorated in a distinct motif that would celebrate his current and/or future accomplishments, such as several premium bookcases packed with classic collections of religion and political science favorites?

Secondly, real estate is currently at a premium in the Tait household. Can we afford to remove one entire room from our inventory of useful living space? I would have no problem justifying maintaining the shrine in its current state if it was generating revenue through modest admission fees, but except for a tiny few of our ward’s Aaronic Priesthood boys who may look up to him as a church basketball hero, I doubt receipts would cover the room’s share of our house utilities.

Wouldn’t it be more functional, as well as memorable, to turn his room into…. say… maybe… some sort of informal “library,” where family members can relax surrounded by walls of classic literature and bask in the light of what Brian is while he is on his mission, or what he is going to be when he returns, a diligent college student, a learned man of letters? We could line the walls with important-looking bookcases and populate it with titles that are currently collecting dust in our basement dungeon.

I’ll admit that, on the surface, this can appear to be a bold ploy to turn his old room into my own personal study for pondering and writing on current events and eternity, a use that would only be marginally more efficient than its current state. So, to insure that we’re making the right choice, I want to marshal the collective wisdom of the blogosphere and seek your advice. Do we maintain it as a shrine to his youthful past, or transform into a memory of his present and future (what a minute- can you remember the present and the future? hmmm… ) while it doubles as Dad’s study?

You decide.

Please respond.


  1. What a SAD attempt to sway my opinion, using our friends and fellow bloggers to change my mind! I see right through you, Husband-o-mine. Fine - put a few of your books in there and carry in your future laptop, and bask away in the literary titles while sitting amongst the displays of days gone by.... Hmm.... perhaps I should blog about a new.... GUEST ROOM!!??

  2. I say leave it the way it is. Brian will have a good laugh when he comes home and sees some of the things he thought were important. He'll ask himself, much like I did, "why did I ever think this poster was cool?" Also, for the things that he does still enjoy and value, it will be a nice reward to return to after his mission. These are just my two cents, and I promise that Deon has not paid me for my opinion!

  3. Deon- GUEST ROOM? Girl it's time to think BIG! I'm talking Deon's Craft Room, Deon's New Closet...

    If Leslie hadn't already redecorated her room I would suggest a room move.

    (Don't hate me Bishop Tait - it's just that I am a woman - this is what we do)

  4. I am particularly amused by the rumpled bed and clothes strewn around the floor...Richard have you been giving Mitchell decorating advice?
    Now the question at hand...forgive me Deon, but do any departing missionaries really expect their rooms to look the same when they return? I always thought it was a rite of passage to have your bedroom plundered while you worked diligently to serve the Lord in some far away land.
    I left for college and when I came home for Thanksgiving, my room had become the LAUNDRY ROOM! I turned out okay.
    Just a quick note in Deon's defense...while this "wasted space" may not be generating any income, I doubt those posters are watching TV or blasting the stereo & unplugging said electronics should eliminate any electricity usage/cost. Hence the shrine costs only the space--a minimal expense to show such adoration to your beloved son-- and you, Richard, are not really out anything since the space was not yours to start with.
    Hmmmm. I'd be a really bad attorney since I make points for both sides!

  5. Hmmm.. let's see...

    Deon, my sweet wife, your speech is protected by both marriage and constitutional clauses;

    Cody, you are a TRAITOR!

    Amy, you are SEXIST!

    Amanda, you are schizophrenic!

  6. but you still love us, right?

  7. i found your blog through a friend and was wondering where your son is serving in north carolina. we are in the mountain island ward, which is part of charlotte, nc.

  8. Adam and Wendy,

    Our son Brian is serving in the North Carolina Charlotte Mission Spanish-speaking. We maintain a blog with highlights of his missionary letters home at
    If you track him down, you're not going to tell him that he may losing his room, are you?